So this might be presumptuous, but I’m going to hazard a guess and say that pretty much everyone has at least one friend that drives them crazy.
Whatever their traits are, be they inconsiderate, bitchy, unreliable, miserable company, or downright users, we continue to hang onto them because they still (or we think they still) add value to our lives, when in some cases, we should really man up and kick them to the kerb.
The friend I’m talking about has the unique ability to drive me absolutely bat shit, scaling the walls, howling at the moon crazy without even trying. And it’s not just me. Whilst I’m hardly the most tolerant of folk, Miss P would make the Dalai Lama yank off one of his saffron robes and smother her with it, whilst simultaneously whacking her over the head with a yoga stool, and OMMing loudly to drown her screams.
The trouble is she has a heart of gold, there is no harm in her and I sometimes suspect she was sent by that Old Git upstairs to teach me a lesson in patience, but if that is the case, well I’m not doing very well thus far.
Perri is the friend I’ve told you about that allows herself to be used by her big, selfish, macho toy boy (https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/daily-prompt-pep-rally-good-ole-mrs-right-now/), but that’s not what bugs me about her. Well, it does a bit, well quite a lot, but it’s not the main thing.
That said, she bangs on about him so much, and he checks up on her so many times when we’re out together, I don’t know why they don’t get stitched together ‘Human Centipede’ stylee and be done with it. At least then, she might shut the fuck up already.
Whilst Perri is in actual fact, as scatty as they come, she has this way of speaking with total conviction and authority which makes me believe her, when in actually fact, she doesn’t have a frigging clue what she is talking about. THEN, when she realises she’s screwed up, she either goes into complete denial, or does a 180 degree about turn and makes me want to scream until my throat bleeds.
Allow me to illustrate:
Driving with Perri in London is an experience I wouldn’t recommend to anyone as, whilst she doesn’t like doing it herself, she is the consummate back seat driver. So I’ll be driving along either using a sat nav, and/or fully aware of the route we need to take, and she be giving it:
‘Why are we going this way? Don’t listen to that thing I know a much quicker route! Not it’s not in the congestion zone, I remember, you just need to turn left here. HERE! You missed it! Turn around! No honestly, I promise you it’s quicker! Yes, of course I can direct you, I KNOW the way!’
So I’ll do a u turn much to the chagrin of traffic behind me, gritting my teeth with stress and irritation, and turn into the road she indicated, remembering too late what she’s like and as soon as I do as she wishes, she backtracks.
‘Ah, oh, erm, this can’t be right, where’s the church? OK, so turn right, NO, RIGHT? Why do you think it’s that way? Where’s the A4?’
At which point I’ll end up shrieking ‘I don’t know, this is YOUR way, Sally fucking Traffic, remember?! You were going to tell ME where to go? Alternatively you can sit tight, button it and leave it to me and/or technology to get us to <insert destination>! What’s it to be?’
By now she’s laughing her arse off, and I end up smiling/groaning too, but it doesn’t stop her from doing it the very next journey, or me wanted to open the passenger door at the next set of lights and boot her onto the pavement.
Even public transport and it’s plethora of foolproof apps, timetables and maps are no match for Perri’s battiness….
Perri – ‘Are you going to drive to the venue?
Me – ‘NO! I’m going to bus and tube it.’
Perri – ‘Why don’t you get the train from Surbiton with me? It’s much quicker than your route.’
Me, evenly – ‘I haven’t told you which way I’m going yet.’
Perri – <Silence>
Me – ‘I’m getting the bus that stops right outside my flat, then straight onto the tube at Wimbledon then I’ll only have a two minute walk to the club. Simples!’
Perri – ‘Seriously the fast train from Surbiton is better.’
Me – ‘No thanks. See you there at 9pm!’
Half an hour later, she calls again.
Perri – ‘I know! Why don’t I come and get you, drive to the station then at least you’ll get learn a quicker route and we can arrive together?’
Me, sighing ‘OK….’
We then get stuck in traffic, have park half a mile away from the station because there are no parking spaces, have to wait 20 minutes on a freezing cold platform before the train actually arrives.
Ten minutes later….
Perri – ‘We haven’t passed Holborn Viaduct yet have we?’
Me, exercising extraordinary restraint – ‘I. Don’t. Know. This is your special, super speedy route, remember?’
Geezer sitting opposite – ‘You’re on the wrong train, love. You’re going to have to get off next stop, go south to Victoria and change.’
Cue our having to leap off the train, spend another 15 minutes on a freezing cold platform, catching another train to Victoria, catching ANOTHER train, then spending an additional 20 minutes wandering around icy cold City of London trying to find the pub, with me trying very hard not to shove her in the Thames.
AND to add insult to injury, she only stayed at the party for an hour because ‘the music is too loud’.
WTF? It’s a club! And when I ask her to give it another hour so we can share a cab home together, she averts her eyes and says something about staying at Adnan’s tonight before sloping out with her tail between her legs, leaving me to get freezing cold night buses all the way home by myself, and catch a cold in the process, whilst she’s no doubt getting shagged bandy by that big, hairy galoot that she’s perpetually whining to me about.
Perri – ‘I’ve just bought Apple TV! It’s brilliant! Honestly, you should get one too!’
Me – ‘Well I was just going to buy one of those cables from Dixons, it does the same job without Apple TV, doesn’t it?’
Perri – ‘Well, that’s the thing, you don’t need that cable if you have Apple TV!’
Me, dubiously – ‘Are you sure?’
Perri – ‘NO! Of course not! Look, you just plug it in HERE, like this!’
So of course, I go and buy Apple TV and the moment I open the box I realise (a) need that cable and (b) they don’t supply one, so © I end up spending £100 more than I needed to in the first place.
Perri – ‘We’ve got a charity bake sale at work tomorrow and I’m going to make fudge brownies, come over!’
Me – ‘Oh, I’ve just made a batch of flapjacks, do you want some to take in too?’
Perri – ‘What, don’t you have faith in me at all? I’ve just said I’m going to make something myself!’
Me – ‘Have you got all your ingredients?’
Perri, exasperated – ‘Yes!’
Twenty minutes later, a text arrives.
Perri – ‘What ingredients do I need?’
Me – ‘That depends on which recipe you’re using. Here are a couple of links to the ones I’ve used before.’
Perri – ‘Yes, I’ve got everything, come over!’
Suffice to say, I took the flapjacks, and true to form, she didn’t have a single square of chocolate in the house, but that was because her son ate it, and apparently I distracted her when she was going to check it was there, by replying to her text to me, asking my advice. No that she’s blaming me of course! Grrr….
Honestly, if cussing could kill, there would be a little pile of Perri scented sulphur on the floor of her office and an awful lot of her friends and family wondering where the hell she’d got to….
So why do I keep going through the same old irritating scenarios with Miss P when I know her so well?
It’s because I have so little confidence in my own beliefs, decisions and ideas, that I crumple like a wet cardboard box if anyone is more strident and outspoken than me, and immediately believe that they must be right as they are so convincing.
And, I’ve just realised that I like other people to take control, because I’m an expert at abdicating responsibility.
Because, at heart, I don’t like getting things wrong, and love apportioning the blame to someone else as criticism and punishment resonating very strongly in my childhood and are very traumatic for me.
Plus, I strongly suspect, that I might just be an eensy, weensy bit lazy.
So it is important for me to work through things like this and see my own part, and indeed fault, when things don’t go according to plan.
I love Perri dearly, and now realise that I have to take her in very small doses and her highly vocal, assertive manner with a rather hefty pinch of salt.
As for me? I think I’ve hit on something that has probably been holding me back for some time, and is the hardest thing to have to admit to, but that I will keep in mind whenever I’m in ‘victim’ mode.
‘Cos ooh, oh no one’s gonna save me….